Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
One of the most satisfying things in my life this past decade has been purchasing sewing machines for my two daughters, Becky and Jamie. Ironically, it was my oldest daughter, Jamie who asked for the machine but my youngest daughter, Becky was the one who really took to the craft. How often do you get the satisfaction of sharing a passion with a daughter? I do not mean to imply that Becky is just like me. She is her own person and very different from me in many ways but seeing her at a sewing machine and watching her make her first quilt is one of those moments, those memories that, as an old lady on my deathbed, I hope I will remember as a shining moment in my life.
I managed to keep the entire project 2013 - The Year of the Christmas Quilt, a secret from everyone in my family including Becky until September when I turned to her for her imput on the quilt "Christmas Chicken in the Pines." Telling her at that time just felt like the right thing to do and I usually listen to my instincts. A little history about Becky and I - for a few years she and I had that classic Mother-Daughter distance, compounded by the fact that she left home for college and I sold her home and moved to Pennsylvania at the same time. I am sure for awhile she felt I ran out on her. After she graduated from college and moved to Texas for her first (and current) teaching job, we started making quilts together. At the beginning, she would come to me in the summer for a week or so and we would put a top together, usually something we had cross stitched. Becky is an extremely talented cross stitcher as well as a novice quilter. Later, the quilting went both ways, she came to me and I went to her down in Texas.
I like to think that quilting saved our relationship. Maybe that is hyperbole, maybe we would have mended things without the quilting but I think it would have taken longer. When you sew, sometimes your hands are busy doing one thing and your brain can do another, like talk to your mother and she can talk to you. We work very well together on projects and after I told her about the 15 quilts, which earned me a "you are awesome, Mom," Becky came up with the idea to do matching quilt bags. Becky is quite the expert at making bags of all kinds so she just ran with the idea and they were a huge hit with the family.
Becky also learned a great deal about me, I think, in this project. That sometimes I am anxious, that I am not always the cool and collected woman I appear to be. And I am delighted to always be learning more about my wonderful, talented, beautiful daughter.
Becky and her husband Todd make their home in Plano, Texas with two beautiful, almost always dignified Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Lexie and Steve, my granddogs. Becky tells me that the dogs love the quilt and that pleases me immensely that it will be used and loved by all the living beings in the house.
Becky chose the quilt almost instantly when she saw it in September at the bag making weekend (she also liked three others alot) but I asked her not to tell me which one she was picking until Thanksgiving Day. I am not sure how much input Todd got in the selection. Like her mother, Becky is extremely strong willed! This quilt was the most expensive of the 15. The shepherds and sheep fabric came from the United Kingdom and 8 yards cost me $100 plus shipping! So much for not buying any additional fabric for the project. It was just so darn cute!
Becky also takes the cake for the best pictures so far.
Rebecca, my love, you are the child I wanted so very badly and had to work so hard for. Thank you for enriching my life with your creative abilities and love of life. I love you with all of my heart. Enjoy your quilt for many, many years at Christmas and remember our secret partnership that delighted me so.